Written February 15, 2007     

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© 2016 Bob Lonsberry


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You’ve no doubt followed the sad story from Salt Lake this week of an 18-year-old Muslim immigrant who went on a shooting rampage inside a crowded mall.

He shot a father and a son, a mother and a daughter, two young sweethearts, a couple of businessmen and a woman who, after four years of marriage, was meeting her husband at the mall to buy the wedding rings they’d never been able to afford.

He murdered five people and put four more in intensive care.

It was a horrific, heartbreaking blood letting.

And as you know it was brought to an end by an off-duty cop out for an early Valentine’s dinner with his pregnant wife. He heard the gunshots and he ran to help, and between his bravery and the .45 caliber Kimber in his waistband, the rampage was over.

One man with a concealed handgun standing up for what was right.

Now, to those of us familiar with concealed carry in Utah, it was a little surprising that – among the almost 300 patrons in and around the mall – only one of them had a gun.

Utah is a state where people believe in and exercise the Second Amendment. Utah is a state where it’s not uncommon for several people in any group to be legally armed.

So why was that off-duty cop alone in fighting fire with fire? Why was he the only one who could engage the murderer with a weapon?

It’s because he was breaking mall rules.

See, at that mall, when you walk in any one of the entrances, you pass a sign that says: No Weapons. At that mall they have a policy against guns – even guns carried by legal permit holders. You’re welcome, but your firearm isn’t.

And in Utah people tend to obey the rules.

There’s no telling how many pistol permit holders were in that mall on Monday night. But if their actions are any indication, none of them were armed.

And the mall policy against guns is probably the reason why.

Which makes you wonder if things might have gone differently, if the mall allowed its patrons to exercise their legal and Constitutional right to arm and defend themselves.

- by Bob Lonsberry © 2007

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